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Announcement: Federal Privacy Commissioner publishes case notes 10 and 11
The Federal Privacy Commissioner, Malcolm Crompton, has today released case notes 10 and 11 regarding the use of personal information by Commonwealth agencies.
- In L v Commonwealth Agency  PrivCmrA 10, the complainant raised concerns relating to the security of his personal information held by the agency. The complainant had asked for a password to be used to identify him when contacting the agency. However, on numerous occasions when he called the agency, he was not asked for his password. As a result of investigations by the Office, the agency made several changes to work practices and paid the complainant $250 compensation for breach of Information Privacy Principle 8.
- In M v Commonwealth Agency  PrivCmrA 11, the complainant alleged that several inappropriate disclosures of his/her personal information had been made between two government agencies in relation to an accident claim and an employment opportunity. The Office found no breach of the Information Privacy Principles (IPPs) and found that Agency A had dealt adequately with the security issue under the IPPs.
The Federal Privacy Commissioner publishes case notes of finalised complaints that he considers would be of interest to the general public. Not all complaints are recorded in case notes so the published notes only illustrate the types of cases resolved by the Office rather than giving a comprehensive account of them.
Most cases chosen for inclusion in case notes involve new interpretation of the Act or associated legislation, illustrate systemic issues, or illustrate the application of the law to a particular industry. The notes do not identify the parties to the complaint. Identities are kept confidential to maintain the privacy of the parties involved.
The Privacy Act makes it a function of the Commissioner to endeavour to resolve complaints by conciliation (s.27(1)(a)). As a result, the outcome in any particular case reflects a number of factors, including the applicable law, the facts of the matter and the approach to the conciliation process taken by both complainant and respondent.
Please visit the Complaint Case Notes and Complaint Determinations page for more details.